Tony Stewart to return to racing this weekend

Tony Stewart
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Tony Stewart will return to Sprint Cup competition Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, ending a three-race hiatus after his car struck and killed a fellow driver during a dirt-track race.

The three-time NASCAR champion has not raced since Aug. 9, when he hit Kevin Ward Jr. at a sprint car event in upstate New York.

"This has been one of the toughest tragedies I've ever had to deal with, both professionally and personally," Stewart said at a press conference Friday. "This is something that will definitely affect my life forever. This is a sadness and pain that nobody should ever experience in their life."

He wanted to let Kevin's family know that he's thinking about them and praying for them.

He also thanked the racing community for it's support.

"I've taken the last couple weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family, and also to cope with the accident in my own way," Stewart said. "It's given me the time to think about life and how easy it is to take it for granted. I think being back in my car this week with my racing family will help me get through this difficult time."

He declined to answer any question at the press conference out of respect for the ongoing investigation.